Grand Ledge community concerned about modified calendar proposal

The first Grand Ledge School Board meeting of the month attracted about 100 community members, as many were concerned with the proposal to switch from a traditional school year calendar to a proposed “balanced” calendar. The new calendar would have a shortened summer break and longer scheduled instruction breaks throughout the school year. Jonathan Shiflett, president of the Grand Ledge School Board, said that, if enacted, this calendar would be utilized by all schools in the Grand Ledge School District, which has 5,240 students. A presentation about the calendar and student achievement within Eaton County was given by the Eaton Regional Education Service Agency. Although the board members were allowed to ask questions during the presentation, the public was not.

Schools partner with Lansing Police Department for trauma relief

Lansing Public School District is in the process of implementing a program called Handle with Care to provide assistance to students of all grades who have experienced trouble with the law in the past 24 hours. “The goal ultimately is to create trauma-informed school districts, environments and communities,” said Karlin Tichenor the Executive Director for School Culture department. Tichenor said that the program will offer counseling if the student wants it and will open the door to other resources. The program is part of a growing national movement that started in West Virginia. Jackson Public Schools piloted the program in February and had a lot of success with it so far, said Tichenor

One of Jackson’s partners for their Handle with Care program is LifeWays Community Mental Health.

The war on opium in Lansing

The opioid epidemic in America is a major problem that has only gotten worse over the past several decades, affecting countless people and families. In October, President Trump officially declared opiate addiction a public health emergency. Former opiate addict Matthew Kronner said that the worst part for him was the stigma of being an addict. “When your friends and family find out it’s one of two ways,” Kronner said. “He’s a junkie, burnout and loser or let’s get him help.”

Kronner also said he believes that the stigma gave him a different perspective on drug addicts, seeing them people who lost their way rather than just losers with poor self-control.

Michigan State University's Clara Bell Smith Center is home to the university's academic support services for student-athletes.

Colleges battle reputation with academic programs for student-athletes

In October, after an eight-month investigation, the NCAA announced it would not punish the University of North Carolina for allowing some of its student-athletes to take fake classes. The case is among the most recent academic scandals in NCAA sports, adding fuel to the debate over whether colleges which part of being a student-athlete is betting emphasized: academics or sports.

The outside of Spartan Stadium's big screen.

Breaking stereotypes about funding of MSU athletics

As tuition costs continue to rise annually, officials at universities with large athletic programs often are criticized for spending on sports programs. The stereotype held by some people is that the university must use tuition dollars to support the athletics budget.

Drinking water is fine, city officials say, residents disagree

The quality of drinking water for the City of Grand Ledge is an inconvenience, not a health risk, Public Service Director Larry LaHaie said. Many residents believe they are paying too much to be inconvenienced. The city has a multistep water treatment process that removes iron and adds fluoride, LaHaie said. “The treatment process, we pump it from wells and then it goes through an iron removal process, where actually it’s aerated and the dissolved iron in the water then bonds with the oxygen so that it can be filtered through, it’s like a sand filter almost,” he  said.

“After that it is chlorinated for disinfection and we add phosphate for corrosion control,” he said.

Talking with Teachers, Episode 3. Guest: Jeff Thomas

On the third episode of “Talking with Teachers,” I’ve gone outside MSU to interview Jeff Thomas, Sweet Home High School’s business education teacher. Thomas has been at Sweet Home High School in Amherst, NY (a suburb of Buffalo) for over 20 years and has taught a number of different business and media courses. In the interview, Thomas talks about how he got into teaching, and the differences between business courses and typical core high school classes. He highlights the importance of business education in high school, how it can help kids going into college, and what business classes are offered at Sweet Home now. Thomas also touches on his personal struggles of teaching an elective course in high school.